Why Ricardo Pereira is the solution to Leicester’s right winger issue
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Ricardo Pereira of Leicester City in action during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool at The King Power Stadium on February 13, 2021 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Brendan Rodgers made the move against Aston Villa to play Ricardo Pereira on the right-hand side for Leicester City and it worked a treat. 

Rodgers was unsure to play Timothy Castagne or Pereira, in the position higher up the pitch. With the wing-backs both versatile, Rodgers now has a few options of whom he can play on the right side of the striker. 

Pereira looked comfortable in his adjusted role and had played well against the West-Midlands team, being a helping hand in Leicester claiming the three points. 

  • Rodgers eager to play Pereira on the right

After Ricardo Pereira’s wonderful performance against Aston Villa, Rodgers revealed that he’d been waiting for an opportunity to move him into the right flank role. 

There was talk that Rodgers had put Castagne and Pereira on the right side to double up on a tricky winger- Jack Grealish -but due to injury, he wasn’t involved. Nevertheless, the two played well together and Rodgers thought so too. Talking to BBC Sport, Rodgers said: “This was the first period both were fit to play. Timothy Castagne can penetrate, Ricardo can manipulate the ball. The two of them were very good and combined well”. 

Academy graduate, Luke Thomas, was played in the left-back position, also having a wonderful game and was in contention for the man of the match award. Brendan Rodgers may be tempted to play  Thomas and Castagne as wing-backs with Pereira further up the pitch until James Justin returns from his long-term injury.

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  • Cengiz Under not in the plans

Cengiz Under made the move from A.S. Roma to Leicester in the summer of 2020, and looked to be an exciting winger for Leicester, set to be a first team regular. It hasn’t panned out that way, with Under not getting much of a look in of Premier League football. 

Despite coming off the bench and being the difference in games, Rodgers seems to not have the Turk in his plans for the future, which could mean Leicester won’t invest into the buy option for Under. 

It was interesting to see on Sunday afternoon that Rodgers picked a wing-back instead of a natural right attacker. With Under not a regular feature in the Leicester squad, Rodgers may feel he now has a better option in Pereira. 

If Pereira does go on to play in the more advanced role, it could see the end of Under’s journey at Leicester. 

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  • Pereira ticks the boxes

Since arriving from FC Porto, the Portuguese has played in the right-back position and has been sensational. His main attribute is running up and down the wing, both defending and attacking. 

Key to being a good winger is having that pace and determination to go back and forth and there’s no other perfect man than Ricardo Pereira. 

Pereira showcased on Sunday his desire to attack on the right-side, he was often found in a lot of space, and did come close to goal when he released a curler from 20 yards. 

With Pereira having the right traits of a right midfielder, is he the one to partner Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy?